Staphylococcus Aureus Bacteria:
Staphylococcus aureus is the bacteria that causes staph infections and a frequent culprit in cases of food poisoning, generally due to improper food handling and inadequate hygiene by food handlers. Rather than causing an infection directly, the Staphylococcus aureus bacteria produce a toxin which is what causes the illness.
Where Staphylococcus Aureus is Found:
Staphylococcus aureus bacteria are found on human skin, hair, noses, throats and infected cuts and sores. The bacteria can live on the skin of people who are otherwise healthy. By some estimates, the Staphylococcus aureus bacteria live on the skin of up to 25 percent of people. Staphylococcus aureus bacteria reproduce very quickly at room temperatures, and produce a toxin that can't be destroyed by cooking.
How Staphylococcus Aureus is Transmitted:
The foods involved in outbreaks of poisoning from Staphylococcus aureus include meats and poultry, as well as other proteins such as eggs and tofu. Sandwiches and deli salads (tuna salad, egg salad, macaroni salad etc.) are also frequently involved in Staphylococcus aureus outbreaks. Dairy products including milk, cheese and cream-filled pastries can also be contaminated. Finally, because the Staphylococcus aureus toxin isn't killed by cooking, reheated foods of all kinds which have been handled by infected workers can also cause illness.
Staphylococcus Aureus Symptoms:
You can read more here about food poisoning symptoms.
Preventing Staphylococcus Aureus:
More Food-Borne Pathogens: